When IT Meets Politics

Nov 16 2011   7:09PM GMT

Why do 28% of users not deploy a security package?

Philip Virgo Profile: Philip Virgo

The Get Safe Online State of the Nation Report makes interesting reading but I am more interested in why 28% of us still do not use anti-virus – and over a third do not switch on the  anti-spam in the packages we have bought.

Having had to switch off the security on my system in order to download material from well-known and reputable sites, to over-ride warnings in order to transact with well-known and supposedly reputable web-sites, to adjudicate between rival security packages trying to cancel each other out and to watch the system stop dead while the packages update themselves – and having been told the packages I use, between them, still pick up only about 2/3 of what might infect my system – I have more than a little sympathy with those who decide not to bother.

So who is asking why they do not bother ?

More importantly  who is taking action to address the reasons – so that they will bother?

And what about all those who think their system is protected – because it said so when they bought it – but never worked out how to switch it on – or to pay for the upgrade because it was only a 30 day trial?

And is that really an invitation to renew the security service or a piece of malware imitating     the renewal notice? 

And why do most ISPs not notify (via a trusted channel – and what is a trusted channel) those whose systems they know are infected and/or are part of botnets?

Is it moral or responsible to advocate “digital by default” including for for the most vulnerable in society without ensuring that the systems  they use are adequately secure?

The Get Safe Online website is as good as we will get by way of guidance until the security vendor community starts telling us how to use their products and services – with material that is neither patronising nor requires a degree in computer science to understand. Googling your  questions and then pondering which of the answers might be from reputable sources is fine for geeks with time to spare and no family or friends but is not a credible solution for most of society.

No wonder so many of us are migrating to mobile phones where we think, foolish us, that we are safer. 

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